Elliot Seng: BoomTown didn’t disappoint
Steamboat Springs — At some point in the summer — for any live music fan — one must strategically decide when to take a weekend off. The grueling pace of traveling, attending and spending frivolously for the love of music can take an immense toll on the body and the bank account. Let me breathe for once!
This, fortunately, was not one of those weekends. It was time for BoomTown 2015 — one of the premier festivals of the summer that has graced the riverbanks of Rancho Del Rio since 2011 all thanks to the mystic electronica infused DJ duo, BoomBox.
Less than an hour south of Steamboat lies two dynamic music venues nestled in a scenic canyon. Many of you may be familiar with the first-born of the two, State Bridge. The other is the popular rafting hub turned pseudo-festival grounds, Rancho Del Rio.
Located next to the Colorado River inside of a canyon-esque basin is the picture perfect arena to hold a small music/camping festival. Drawing over a thousand people, each day, to such an intimate venue brings the type of cohesion only found in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
Riverside camping? Live music? Beer? Yep, it’s all there. With Steamboat’s finest festival goers in attendance, there was no shortage of smiling faces. Steamboat even gained traction as a topographical mimic to the festival grounds. Areas designated as “Steamboat,” “Steamboat 2” and “Milner” were all large-scale campsites filled with “Teamboat” locals.
BoomBox was formed in 2004 by singer-songwriter Zion Godchaux heading up vocals and guitar and Russ Randolph manning the DJ booth and all things production. The two have toured extensively since 2007 and began their own festival, BoomTown, in 2011. Bridging their unique sound of live improvisational guitar to the hetty backbeats drawn from R&B and various sects of electronica, BoomBox can, and will, keep the party going.
Blasting popular tracks like “Stereo,” “Headchange” and “Midnight On The Run” made Saturday night the premier gathering for die-hards and first-timers alike to revel in the moment. With Randolph on the ones and twos mastering the evenings improv-set, Godchaux was able to freely riff away as only he can do to a crowd of over a thousand in attendance. Various moments in the night revealed Randolph sliding behind a drum kit, nonchalantly adding yet another layer of infectious beats to dance to, which I throughly enjoyed.
By the end of it all their set was nearly three hours long and without so much as a water break or intermission. Needless to say, these guys can party.
Not only did they have their touring light rig set up in hypnotic-fashion but they incorporated separate high-powered lights fixated on a mountain backdrop behind the stage that pointed across the river to the face of a ridgeline. The projections spiraled and flowed in massive pinwheel revolutions, dancing across the wall of that massive space. Yeah lasers! Hooray!
The overall consensus was that — for those in attendance the entire weekend — this was the best night for the three-day showing. The music, the crowd’s energy and atmosphere were evidence enough.
There were many amazing facets to this “booming” evening. Yeah, I said it. Booming. I’ve been holding out this entire time. Oh the suspense. But the only thing that mattered was the tenacious energy consistent throughout the entire night, felt by all. What might happen this weekend? Probably being broke and sleeping a lot is what might happen this weekend. Or will it?
You win again music.
Elliot Seng can tell a few stories. Especially the type where music takes the stage. His story started in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, back in 1987. Residing in Steamboat Springs for the past five years, the 27-year-old’s dedication to music is more alive than ever. Whether at home in a robe harmonizing to a favorite vocalist or standing next to you at the weekend’s top gig dancing like a ninny, he cannot be ignored. In his short time on earth, he’s a proven music junkie and totally broke from it.
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